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Martin Leung

The Video Game Pianist at the London Video Games Live concert.
Background information
Genres Video Game Music
Instruments Piano
Website videogamepianist.com

Martin Leung, also known as the Video Game Pianist or the Blindfolded Pianist, is one of the first pianists to gain worldwide recognition for playing popular video game music on the piano, both in concert venues and in online videos.

Unlike many recognized musicians, Leung's breakthrough occurred almost entirely online when, on May 10, 2004, a video of him playing the Super Mario Bros theme blindfolded appeared on numerous viral video websites. Leung has been covered by Advanced Media Network, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nintendo Power, GAME Magazine, CUBE Magazine, Night Life Montreal, MTV, 1UP.com, GameSpot, and Slashdot.

Contents

Early life

Born in Hong Kong to Chinese and Japanese parents, Leung moved to California when he was three years old and began taking interest in the piano at the age of 4 when, after hearing his sister play, he began imitating songs. His parents noticed his potential and enrolled him in piano lessons.

By the late 1990s, Leung had developed into a talented musician, placing first two times at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, once in 1998 and once in 2000, and placing third at the 2002 Oberlin Piano Festival. Leung made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2003 at the age of 16 in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, performing Mendelssohn's Concerto No. 1 - Presto.

In 2004, as a high school senior at University High School, Leung put two of his passions — piano and videogames — together, listening to the music of Super Mario repetitively so he could arrange it for piano[citation needed]. On May 10, 2004, the video he and a friend had created of him performing songs from the Super Mario Bros. series blindfolded appeared on different websites.

Leung attended the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Performances

After Leung’s first online video was viewed by an estimated 40 million people [1], he began performing video game music from other popular gaming series including Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Halo, Earthworm Jim, and Final Fantasy. As Leung released more videos of himself performing a broader collection of video game music, his work began to show up on iFilm, MSN Video, Ebaums World, Gprime, and Albino Blacksheep.

In February 2005, noticing his skill and growing popularity, Tommy Tallarico asked Leung to join his upcoming Video Games Live tour, the first North American concert tour devoted entirely to video game music. Before making appearances with VGL, Tallarico asked Leung to perform at the newly minted Walk of Game and at 2005’s Game Developers Conference’s Game Audio Network Guild Awards (G.A.N.G). In May 2005, he was hired by BradyGames to perform piano at its E3 booth. On July 6, 2005, Video Game Live's premiere, Leung performed piano arrangements of Final Fantasy’s "The Prelude" and "One Winged Angel” to approximately 11,000 fans in the Hollywood Bowl. Notable attendees include Hideo Kojima, Kōji Kondō (via pre-recorded video), Lorne Lanning, Yuji Naka, Marty O’Donnell, and Ted Price [1].

At the March 2006 Game Developers Conference, Leung performed his piano arrangements of the Zelda, Monkey Island, Halo 2, Myst, and Advent Rising games at G.A.N.G; some of the composers for these games including Tim Larkin, Clint Bajakian, Marty O'Donnell, Jack Wall, and Tommy Tallarico were in attendance. During the GDC, Leung also played songs from Final Fantasy at the Video Games Live sold-out concert in the San Jose Civic Auditorium.

On June 3rd, 2006, Leung performed his Final Fantasy Medley, along with an encore presentation of Super Mario Brothers music (while blindfolded) after the concert had ended, at the Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia, PA as part of the Video Games Live tour. [2] [3]

On September 1, 2006, Leung again performed his Final Fantasy Medley and Super Mario Brothers music (blindfolded) at Toronto's Massey Hall as part of Video Games Live. In addition, Leung performed the Game Boy music version of Tetris and much to the surprise of VGL Co-founder Tommy Tallarico, a version of Earthworm Jim at blazing speed.

On November 12 and 19, 2006, Leung again performed his Final Fantasy Medley and Super Mario Brothers music (blindfolded) at Rio de Janeiro in Claro Hall and at São Paulo in Via Funchal as part of the Video Games Live in Brazil. In addition, Leung performed the Super Mario World theme, and the Game Boy music version of Tetris. He did the same on the 25th of November, performing for 3000 fans at the Hammersmith Apollo, London.

Martin reprised his now famous performance of the Final Fantasy Medley and Super Mario Bros. Music (blindfolded) yet again on January 26, 2008 live at The Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri as a part of the Video Games Live 2008 Tour.

In addition to his usual performances, Leung also contributed to the second encore of the February 17 Edmonton show (a Castlevania medley), playing the organ.

On November 21, 2008, Leung performed at Video Games Live in Boston, Massachusetts, playing his Final Fantasy medley first, his blindfolded Mario segment later on, and accompanied the orchestra during the second encore on the organ for Castlevania. He did the same in Paris, France on December 18, 2008, and added the main theme from The Secret of Monkey Island. [4]

On June 18, 2009, Leung again played his Final Fantasy medley, the blindfolded Mario, and the Castlevania encore at Video Games Live in Singapore.

On July 14, 2009, Leung again performed at Video Games Live in Fort Worth, Texas.

On July 27, 2009, Leung again performed at Video Games Live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pieces included blindfolded Mario, Mario medley, Final Fantasy medley and requests shouted from the audience.

On November 7, 2009, Leung again performed at Video Games Live in Portland, Oregon. Pieces included blindfolded Mario, a Mario medley, a Final Fantasy medley, requests from the audience including themes from Mario Bros. 3, Pac-man, Monkey Island, and Tetris. He also contributed to the Castlevania encore.

On November 15, 2009, Leung again performed at Video Games Live in Dundee, Scotland. Pieces included blindfolded Mario, Final Fantasy medley and a large array of requests from the audience, including Mario, Monkey Island and Tetris.

On March 13-14, 2010, Leung again performed at Video Games Live in Tucson, Arizona, United States. Pieces included blindfolded Mario, Final Fantasy medley and Tetris.

Trivia

  • Leung has several goals he wishes to accomplish: promote and elevate the image of video game music, enhance the piano’s image so that it will become a more mainstream instrument, and to help increase awareness of classical music [5].

References

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Martin Leung article)

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Video Game Pianist A.K.A. Martin Leung is one of the first pianists to gain worldwide recognition for playing popular video game music on the piano, both in concert venues and in online videos. Unlike many recognized musicians, Video Game Pianist's breakthrough occurred almost entirely online when, on July 2, 2004, a video of him playing the Super Mario Bros theme blindfolded appeared on eBaum's World.

External Links

  • The Entire Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack.
  • Official Site
  • Legend of zelda

This article uses material from the "Martin Leung" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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